Does Velveeta Cheese Go Bad?

Does Velveeta cheese go bad? Velveeta is a brand of processed cheese product made by Kraft Foods. This product is similar to American cheese but it is softer with a smoother texture or consistency. Stocking up on Velveeta cheese is always a great idea because this is a versatile product. It is useful in cooking and baking.

Velveeta melts into a clump-free liquid once it’s been heated. This is the reason why Velveeta is a popular ingredient in cheese dips and cheese sauce. You can also use Velveeta to make grilled cheese sandwiches, mac n’ cheese, or cheese topping to chili con carne. You can also enjoy Velveeta cheese as is as a snack!

Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart

Velveeta cheese is a processed food product so it has a long shelf life. The cheese has gone through a stringent pasteurization process to kill germs and pathogens that may cause sickness or cause spoilage. Still, Velveeta remains a dairy product so it won’t keep forever.

How to Store Velveeta Cheese?

Storing Velveeta Cheese in the Pantry

Velveeta is often sold in blocks or slices and is found in supermarket shelves. This means Velveeta cheese is shelf stable so it should keep well on its own at room temperature. But this goes as long as the packaging is not compromised in any way! Leaving an unsealed block of cheese on the counter will only accelerate spoilage or worse, invite dairy-loving bugs into the pantry.

If the packaging is unopened, you can store Velveeta cheese in the pantry. But keep it away from sources of heat, light, and moisture. Exposure to heat or moisture may lead to mold growth. Once the packaging has been opened, you have to store Velveeta in the fridge.

Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart

Storing Velveeta Cheese in the Refrigerator

Velveeta cheese that’s nearing its expiry date or open packs of Velveeta cheese should be stored in the fridge.  The chilly temps won’t alter the texture of the cheese unless the product is left naked or exposed. If this happens, the cheese might dry out. Chilling properly packed Velveeta won’t affect its melty consistency at all. You can transfer the product in an airtight packaging if the original packaging is no longer doing a great job of protecting the cheese from the chilly air.

Should you freeze Velveeta cheese? We don’t recommend freezing this product and even Kraft Foods do not recommend this method at all. The melty quality of the cheese will be affected if the product has been frozen. Also, the cheese’s smooth consistency could turn grainy or mushy as well. Freezing the cheese could also affect the flavor or taste of the cheese.

If you must freeze Velveeta cheese, you can but do not expect the product to look and taste the same. Use an airtight, freezer-safe container to minimize the effects of freezing to the cheese product. For opened blocks of Velveeta cheese, you may need to wrap the product in cling wrap first before storing it in your desired container.

Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart

Shelf Life of Velveeta Cheese

Processed soft and semi-hard cheese like Velveeta will keep in the pantry for a month or so as long as the packaging is left unopened. Opened packs of Velveeta will keep for 6 to 8 months in the fridge. It will keep indefinitely in the freezer.

Do note that most cheese products come with an expiration date, which is about 5 to 6 months after the cheese has been produced. This means the cheese must be consumed before the expiration date. Confused over common food label terms and their meaning? Check out our guide for the definition of different food label terms.

How to Tell if Velveeta Cheese Has Gone Bad?

When fresh, Velveeta cheese has a creamy, pale yellow color and a soft, almost mushy consistency. Changes in its color, flavor, and appearance could be a sign that the product has spoiled. If the cheese is looking a little dried out but it’s still not expired, just cut out the dried-out bits. It should be safe to eat.

If the product is past the expiration date, do not use it even if there are no visible signs of spoilage. Spoiled dairy products are notorious for causing food poisoning. If you are seeing signs of molds, you can opt to toss the entire product in the trash or cut out the moldy parts and use up the rest of the cheese. Some people do this with great success but do this at your own risk.

Summary

Does Velveeta cheese go bad? It does, certainly but only when it has been stored improperly or it’s been kept sitting in the pantry for a long, long time.

Hoarding blocks of Velveeta cheese might be tempting but unless you will use up the cheese immediately, buy only the amount you need for optimal quality. Remember, the longer you store dairy products, the quicker the degradation of the products will be.